When a bride, party planner or meeting professional finds Eventective, they often submit a request through our site to receive quotes from available venues and vendors in their area for the events they are planning. In order to discourage false event requests, the requests are manually approved by Eventective staff before being sent to providers. However, we have limited control over the nature of the person completing a request so it is important that anytime you are pursuing and negotiating business online that you are aware of the opportunity for deceptive scams.
Keep these warning signs in mind as you correspond with potential clients and it may keep you from becoming a victim of an Internet scam.
- The event request has a high budget with no breakdown of individual budgets for each vendor type.
- You receive long, complicated emails from the “planner” with many spelling and punctuation errors.
- They want to communicate only by email and avoid having a conversation with you over the phone. They may even give reasons for not being able to talk on the phone because they are deaf or out of the country dealing with an emergency. If the scammer does call you, write down the incoming phone number to provide to authorities.
- The scamming party does not listen to the information you are providing in your responses. For example, you are not a full-service event planner, yet the scammer tries to make you one by asking you to find other services for their event, such as a caterer, photographer or DJ. They want you to give them your business colleagues’ information so they can also target them with the scam.
- The person wants to send you a deposit immediately even before having a proposal or signed contract from you. Often this involves a Western Union check and/or charging a credit card for more than the actual amount you requested. The party then asks you to send the difference back to them and gives you detailed instructions on how to return the money.
- Money for free is always a red flag. Never accept a check for more than the amount you requested no matter how tempting it may be or how real the check may look. The scammer may even send you a copy of their driver’s license or passport, but remember these documents are fake. Even after you deposit the check, you may be able to withdraw the money but that does not mean that the check is good. It can take weeks for the check to bounce and the bank to discover it is a fraudulent check and you are liable for the entire amount when it does eventually bounce.
- The scammer is persistent, does not take no for an answer and will not give up contacting you.
In summary, do not send money to customers. They are the customer! Contact your local authorities if you are the victim of an Internet scam. If you have any concerns about an Eventective event request that you are pursuing, please contact us immediately. And always trust your gut instinct. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.